Could Trump’s Border Wall Work?

It’s worked before.

In fact, studying the purpose of the Great Wall of China serves well to explain what success for the Southern Border Wall would look like.

At that time, the threat came from populations to the north that wasn’t set on invading and overthrowing China, but from small raiding parties looting borderland villages. Militarily, a raid is an attack which isn’t meant to occupy territory but to inflict some harm on an enemy before retreating back to a safe location. In this way, the harm that was visited upon the Ming Dynasty could come from literally anywhere along the empire’s northern border. Without warning, some independent tribe of anywhere from 15 to 200 soldiers could show up and ransack a borderland village or even a small city. They could take with them slaves and treasure, preventing development in the region and representing a constant drain on the empire.

So there are two possible solutions to this problem. You either dedicate an army, literally a whole army, to the entire border that could respond with reasonable force to any possible raid attempt, or, you build some static defense that could prevent the majority of such attacks. In the case of China, the solution was the northern border wall, a static option. Could a determined foe scale the wall? Sure, but the wall prevented the main tool necessary for these raids from getting over — the horse. By denying that tactical necessity, it no longer became profitable for the types of raids to occur. No longer did the region suffer from the raids, but also, the types of people who would do the raiding also died off. At the same, the army that was saved was allowed to be redeployed to other areas, sometimes to expand the borders of China, sometimes to protect them invasions themselves. To say the least, the Great Wall of China was necessary to providing the culture with much of the stability and security to become the cultural centerpiece of world history it is today. Eventually, the wall was overcome by a determined force from the north, but it still bought the Chinese more than 1,200 years of security after it was built.

Not too shabby.

Follow the blog, as we’ll be answering more on the border wall tomorrow!

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What Did Conservatives Dislike about President Obama?

When President Barack Obama was elected, I was rather a-political. I was starting college. I actually just got out of the Marines and off an Iraq deployment only a few months prior. I also had a slew of problems adjusting to civilian life amidst a recent series of personal tragedies. Politics? Whatever. Who has the time?

The only real moment that stood out to me in 2008 was when another student, a black student if I’m being very honest, said very confidently to the whole class, “It’s time we had a black man in the White House!”

That was it. That was the end of his explanation.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My entire life, I had been raised on the belief that skin color had nothing to do with a person’s ability and that treating every race equally was all that mattered. We had been taught to be colorblindbut there was a student arguing that policies didn’t matter, voting patterns didn’t matter, experience didn’t matter. His skin color alone was what mattered. I was floored. This was racism. That was exactly racism. This was complete and total racism. It was saying, in a college History class no less, that a person was qualified for the most powerful role in the country because of the color of his skin. He might as well have said, “I’m not voting for anyone if they are white.”

I looked to the teacher, and she said nothing, as if, “Good enough.” When did it become acceptable for people to say that skin color alone was the qualifier for anything, especially the office of President of the United States?

I wanted to ask right then, “Don’t policies matter?”

I legitimately wanted to know. Like I said, I had a lot of life happening in 2008, so the election didn’t really weigh too heavily on my mind, even though it was already September or so. I’m ashamed of how ignorant and apathetic I was. But here I was in college and I wanted to know what the man stood for. In particular, I wanted to know his foreign policy. Remember, I was so fresh from the sandbox, I still had sand falling out of my… Let’s just say it was still on my mind. Many of my friends still in the Marines were going to deploy again very shortly into the tenure of the new president, and so many people I knew had already suffered so much for the gains we had made in Iraq. By the end of 2007, the war was as good as won. So all the next guy had to do was nothing stupid and we’d be fine there. Still, I wanted to know that this guy wouldn’t botch the whole thing.

But I said nothing. At that time, I was afraid of saying, “That’s not good enough for me. I’d like to know his foreign policy.” I feared that if I questioned his logic, I would be called a racist.

That was my first run in with identity politics. And as an additional point, I didn’t go to school in some blue state where I might have expected this. I went to school in Dallas, Texas.

I did start looking more into things on my own, though. That left me with only one real series of questions.

“What does Change even mean? Change what? How? What’s the context, here?”

Then the election happened. I wasn’t too torn up, though I was surprised. I expected people to go for the experienced veteran, being that we were in the middle of two wars. I understood very little back then.

After that, however, I started seeing a lot of things that were fairly alarming. Now President Obama was making some terrible choices with our military. This included ignoring the conflicts to a great degree while apologizing across the world for our presence. “This will embolden our enemies,” I thought. Then he placed in a series of secretaries over the DoD and the various branches who clearly were more interested in “reforms” that had nothing to do with making our warfighters more combat effective, but everything to do with partisan social agendas. There were also cuts being made and the sequestration. Just so you know, that’s a really frightening word if you’re in the military, and particularly if you’re in the military in the middle of two active conflicts. Then there was the pullout from Iraq. There, I got angry. I told my wife then that if we pull out of Iraq the terrorists were going to take over all of Al Anbar (where I had been deployed). But he gave out that wonderful stimulus package, so everybody got $800. Why should I complain?

Then ISIS happened and I was proven right. Places, where people I knew died, were now the property of the worst terrorists the world had ever known, born strictly out the absence of the American military forces after we had gained control of it years prior. I was upset about Iraq, to say the least. Then I got more upset at the complete lack of a response to Russia in Ukraine; upset about the Iran deal; upset that Afghanistan was ignored after they got Bin Laden; and upset that diddly squat was being done about a suddenly nuclear-armed North Korea test firing their first generation of ICBMs.

Switching back to local… did I mention that I also graduated during this time… and that I had to get a job during the slowest recovering recession in our nation’s history? Nothing will slap you in the face harder than finding out that graduating with honors from a good university and military experience aren’t enough to get you a decent job a full four years after Obama took office and more than five years after the start of the recession.

I ended up finally being hired in a crap retail management position where my job was to write schedules that screwed over my employees. Of course, that wasn’t what the ad read, but yes, that was my job. I had to take people who had been working with the company for years and deserved full-time status, and never allow them more than 32 hours a week. If they worked more than 35 enough weeks, they automatically qualified as full-time employees. Why is that bad? Thanks to this new healthcare legislation coming down that forced companies to pay healthcare worth more than the labor of their employees, the companies juggled to figure out a scheme that allowed them to stay in the black. That involved Operations Managers like me essentially switching from managing operations, the sort of harder and faster motivation that I was good at, to screwing over employees. I was good at harder and faster. I was Marine after all, but not screwing over good and hardworking people who deserved to work the hours they wanted to, but I would be doomed if I gave them more than 35 a week. Granted, I didn’t realize at the time that I was an evil corporate miser, but looking back, that’s all I was.

Oh, my company was bad, but then I found out that they weren’t the only ones. As it turned out, people predicted that this behavior would run rampant. Unemployment would go down, but underemployment would skyrocket as people would take on not one job adequate for their needs and appropriate to their skills, but three part-time jobs because no one was going to be hiring full-time employees now. Upward mobility also became impossible, and millions of people still couldn’t get healthcare.

I’ve read many arguments against The Affordable Care Act, but this is the one that did me in on the President’s desire to do nice things domestically. There were really obvious signs that this wouldn’t work, that it would cause some massive problems, but people who raised their hand to say anything… racists — or if they objected to the plan itself, they lacked empathy. I’m sorry, but all those kids in college who were so livid toward anyone who disagreed with them and said they lacked empathy, they never had to empathize with real people. They didn’t know Charity.

And Charity isn’t a euphemism. That’s her real name: Charity H. She was a real hard worker. Always reliable. I knew that if anyone flaked, I could rely on her. She was quiet, but exactly the sort I wanted on my teams. It was my job to force her into taking a second job. I became very angry years after leaving retail and walking past that same store and seeing Charity still working there, probably in the same position, and probably at no more than 32 hours a week.

At some point during this time, the church shooting happened where a deranged nutbag shot and killed a small bible study at a predominately black church. That was heartbreaking, reminding every one of Columbine and other shootings of the sort. The president himself went to lead the funeral. I thought that was classy. Then, out of nowhere in the speech,

“It’s time to take down that flag!”

He was talking about the Confederate flag, in whatever state still flew it. I’m sure there was a healthy debate about that before the shooting, but to me and many people, this was a statement taken so far out of left field — owing absolutely nothing to the problem of bat-crap crazy people murdering others — that I was floored at how he seemed to shift the blame to a whole state for what this one guy did. In reading the actual text of the speech, the entire three paragraphs of the eulogy where the flag came into question, he didn’t mention the actual killer once. Instead, the clear and overwhelming focus was on how racist America was, not the individual in question. American history somehow caused this. It was literally as if he was saying all of us were responsible — not just the killer. Even if he was a perfectly sane person who just simply was a horrible, horrible racist, we all were responsible because of American history. He was just a symptom of a deeply racist nation. I was completely lost as to why this egregious crime was being suddenly turned into a political call to action that had nothing to do with the events in question, one that put the onus of responsibility on all Americans and their inescapable racism.

I remember not long after that, there was this 16 or 17-year-old girl posing with her friends in front of the flag before prom. Prom. They’re freaking kids. You may not agree with that. You may think that every white person in the South with a Confederate flag is a raging racist out to enslave all the POC, but you’d be wrong. I know these people and you’re wrong, but whatever. What came next was absurd. A protest formed outside the girl’s home. I don’t know how, but she got doxxed and a mob of protesters began harassing her family and threatening her, right outside her bedroom window.

Full stop. That’s unacceptable. I am not a free speech supremacist. I’ll fight very hard for people to say things that I don’t even agree, but there is a line of decency we do not cross. I don’t believe that speech should happen at someone’s front door. People get crazy and at the snap of a finger can turn a protest into a mob. It was indecent for people to “protest” like that.

In a conversation among Top Writers about how terrible this girl was, where the fact that they were protesting at her house was the context of the article, I pointed out this fact. When a mob is allowed to threaten minors for an Instagram photo, I call the moment. Of course, that opened me up to a barrage of being called a racist. The heck? I wasn’t even supporting the flag. I could care less about the flag. I was just saying to leave the protests out of people’s front yards and don’t think you’re the good guy for terrifying little girls.

Then we get into Black Lives Matter. Look, I’ve read the data, and there are cases where police acted wrongly. Nobody is saying it never happens. But we were asking for people to wait for evidence before stories based on a few unverified facts became major national narratives and the source of outrage for millions. Case in point: Michael Brown, where wild protests followed the “execution” of an innocent black teenager trying to surrender to a murderous racist white cop. As the days went by, there was less and less evidence to support this story, and more that exonerated the police officer. So when we actually had evidence that Brown was doing a lot of stuff he shouldn’t, I was the guy who said something, “Maybe we should wait for some evidence before the riots?”

Oh, how things went South after that. Turns out, I was completely right and that the Department of Justice’s investigation completely proved that Brown attacked the police officer, made no effort to surrender and that the officer was completely in his rights to shoot him. It turns out that the whole “Hands Up; Don’t Shoot” story was completely falsified by the guy who was Brown’s accomplice in the crimes that got him killed. Doesn’t really matter. By this point, we had Top Writers literally saying, and I am directly quoting, “Jon Davis wants people who look like me back picking cotton,” and posting pictures of some random white guy assaulting Martin Luther King Jr. saying, “Here’s Jon Davis’ grandpa,” inside Quora answers!

It was insane. Of course, I don’t blame Barack Obama for that directly, but he set the stage for this outrage culture. He normalized outrage culture and never tried to check it as cities went up in riots based on little to no evidence other than narratives of systemic racism.

Then there was the slaying of several police officers at a BLM protest in Dallas. This was it for me. In the speech at the memorial service, many people, myself included, interpreted the President’s words as, “But a lot of cops do bad things too.” It felt, in that moment, that the President of the United States was standing over a funeral where police officers had given their lives protecting people who despised them, and there was a suggestion that the killer was in the slightest way possibly justified because some cops somewhere are bad?

You don’t have to agree with me. You don’t have to respect my opinion. That’s just the way it sounded to me… as well as millions of other people like me. I know that most people reading this don’t have access to right-wing news, but people were furious that this was being politicized so blatantly and that it happened by way of pushing this notion over the bodies of as-yet-not-buried police officers who died fighting a radicalized terrorist to protect citizens at a protest against them. This was insane. But you’re not allowed to say these things. I know, because repeatedly, those of us who did were bombasted if we were ever critical of anything.

He had a personality cult. That’s what it was. The core of his supporters were a repressive and hateful cult of personality around the man. Whether you call them Social Justice Warriors or whatever, that’s what they were: A cult of ideologues; an extremely vocal minority of his followers with far too much power who used dirty tactics to silence anyone who disagrees with any of their agenda. I’ve never seen anything like it. No one was allowed to be critical of anything he did, what he said, or even the massive and undeniable policy failures he led like pulling out of Iraq. If you ever opened your mouth, you were immediately branded with every hateful, toxic ad hominem meant to smear your reputation so that anything you said no longer mattered. Many good liberals, people who I don’t fault for voting Obama for very good reasons, did nothing about it. I was bitter about that for a while. Many were and still are my friends, but now I think they were just terrified of the SJWs too. Over the last year, many, have come to me silently to say as much.

Again, I can’t blame President Obama for what everything his followers did, but I got sick of the constant feeling of mob tyranny, of a president who was above criticism, and of the feeling that anything I said would get Google to return my name with “he wants people who look like me back picking cotton.” I think that’s what really turned me from simply saying, “I don’t like the President’s politics, but I appreciate his service,” to “I’ll do anything to avoid another eight years of this madness.” It wasn’t him. He seems like a decent human. Good husband. Good father. He seems very fine, and I do appreciate his service to the country. But it was that personality cult of his rabid fanatics.

I’m going to be honest, I don’t think I would very much like Donald Trump as a person. I would have rather had Marco Rubio. I’m still happy I voted for Trump, though. That’s because I didn’t want a nice fella. I wanted someone who would win and who would be a hammer to the fanatics that supported Obama to the point of militancy. I mean that. Militancy. They said and did things I would expect to see in Iraq. Blatant acts of terrorism were ignored or even had the blame pushed to people like me for speaking out. Nothing could be questioned and if you stepped out of line, you were slandered or people threatened to take away your jobs, and often, even real threats of violence. They’re still doing it. What would eight more years of that look like? Would my writing be censored as “hate speech”? Would people who speak like me have thugs show up at my door? Would I be locked up in the gulag?

No. Not cool. The intolerance of these people was enough. I was sick of it.

I may not like Donald Trump as a person, but I love Donald Trump Supporters. I’m their supporter because I know them personally. I grew up with them, and I know their hearts. They’re good people who didn’t deserve the unmitigated treatment they got over those years and continue to receive today. And no matter what kind of a person he is, he spoke for them when everyone, even the other Republicans, ignored them. I didn’t want a nice person out to win the Nobel Prize for making the world feel special. I wanted a hammer.

Short answer: Maybe as an individual, President Obama was a really swell guy, but I felt he was a bad president. Not a communist or a Kenyan born Muslim Manchurian candidate. Not Satan or the anti-christ. Not even the worst President ever, but in the bottom half. I felt he was someone who had a vision of the United States that didn’t reflect reality, made bad policies reflective of that vision, and alienated many when he stirred up the divisive rhetoric to push his vision on us.

I know, I know, you want to tell me about what a terrible person Trump is. Say what you want about Trump, but at least now people are listening to the “flyover states” and the unacceptable behavior by radical left-wing fanatics is finally being called unacceptable by the good Obama voters who I still love as dear friends. Maybe if that had happened years ago, we’d be having a conversation about Marco Rubio. But it didn’t.

That’s why, if we’re being honest with ourselves, most conservatives don’t think Obama was a bad person. It was his core fanatics we couldn’t stand and it was they who helped Trump win the election.


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Twitter has no Principles

People are talking about the “white nationalist purge” of Twitter, which I honestly care little about. Those who are followers of the blog know that the Alt-Right hates me more than most because I have done as much as I have to literally teach people how to inoculate themselves from their rhetoric.

But Twitter honestly get’s no credit in this one. While it’s fine if they want to silence these types of people, it isn’t fine if they refuse to silence fanatics on other fronts. Twitter has long been host to organizing and empowering groups that support terrorism from the Islamic State to Anti-fa, so to suddenly take a stand now and expect praise for it, sorry, you’ll get none from me. When you only silence people who you specifically find detestable, but refuse to take action against far worse among people who violate your own rules but are politically incorrect to hold them accountable… we have a saying for that.

They have no principles.

This was outlined clearly with the banning of Roger Stone back in October. I wrote about it on Quora then and will share it again here. You can say that they did the right thing by enforcing some standard of decency on the platform. I’ll agree. I hate seeing the dumbing down of all media that eventually led everyone throwing around “F-this” and “F-that” on the nightly news or even Star Trek. I really hate it. I think what he said was important enough to be said, but a completely terrible way to say it.

That said, Twitter still has no principles… because you don’t get to only enforce the rules on ideologies you don’t like.

 I want to be upfront: I don’t like Julian Assange, but the man has a really big point.

So Twitter is trying to “take a stance against abuse”, but then they just ignore posts like this from only weeks ago?

Just a few weeks ago I asked the question Why isn’t Twitter banning people celebrating the Las Vegas Massacre? and still, there has been nothing but silence as far as doing anything about that. Literally, thousands of people reported those tweets and the users are still active.

Or how about the real head-scratchers, people with millions of followers who can get away with murder… provided that they are targeting the right people. Or, should I say… people on the Right.

Habitually.

And it isn’t just President Trump. Olbermann does this sort of thing all the time to many, many people. Twitter does nothing about these cases which are reported again, and again, and again.

So the message that Twitter is sending out, clearly is that they won’t respect targeted abuse, but they will only enforce that policy on right-wingers when they start imitating the left-wingers who have made their careers off it.

So having said that, Twitter deserves nothing but condemnation for this move. Suspending Roger Stone is something I would be totally fine with… if he was the only one acting like he does. If he set this bar so low, then I would say that the punishment was fair. Since he’s not, not even the worst, and since Twitter regularly proves itself to be such an irrefutably biased platform, then no, this is a complete mockery of the site.

Look, everyone understands fairness. Everyone. You don’t get to suddenly come down and start enforcing the rules… but only for the right people. I should say, only for the right-wing people. It shows absolutely no integrity on the platform to demonstrate their principles, but making clear the only principles they have are partisan loyalty. Look, I’m fine with suspending people acting like dirtbags… but suspend all the dirtbags.

Fair isn’t fair if you only treat people you hate “fairly”.


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Military and Technology

Let’s look at this a different way. I’d argue that militaries don’t adopt new technologies. The tech is simply out there, but whole nations must adapt to fulfill the desires of a particular military strategy, not simply the military.

Here is the M1-Abrams. It was designed in the 1980’s. It has few secrets left, but other nations around the world still fail to produce a better tank. Why?

Because technology isn’t simply “unlocked” or “adapted”. It must be built. For that, a nation… not the nation’s military… must be capable of creating the thing. Not only this, they must also be able to balance building enough of them for a meaningful strategy, with not spending so much that the nation goes bankrupt. So for the Abrams, that means that each of its 10,000 parts (baseless guestimate) must be built in various factories. They must then be assembled together in other factories. They must then be brought together somewhere else, and they must then be shipped to wherever they need to go. Furthermore, ammunition needs to be produced, fuel refined, and replacement parts fielded. There are very few nations on Earth who could meet this demand.

Let’s look at that another way. Why does Australia not produce cars? They are well educated, wealthy, capitalist, and with many trade partners. So why not build cars?

For a nation to be profitable in the automotive industry, it must produce and sell in excess of 200,000 cars a year. The process to build a car from raw ore to a revved-up engine is so extensive that it is virtually impossible to achieve economies necessary for national profit until about the 200,000 mark. Long ago, Australia could do, even though the industry was heavily subsidized by the government. But as cars became more complex, more technical, and requiring more specialties to produce the new parts and equipment, Australia couldn’t keep up. Simply put, Australia doesn’t have enough people to sell that many cars. More than that, they don’t have enough people to build that many cars. Just as important, they don’t have a logistical trade network to connect all the people who can make that happen, nor do they have resources cheap enough to make it economical. A better way to think about it is that Australia may have enough for all these, but to do so, they would have to stop doing other profitable activities, which would hurt them in the long run. The massive investment the government would have to make to retooling their economy is such that no matter how much was spent, no matter how much technology they incorporated, Australia would never be able to profit from such as venture. So they don’t make cars. There is a reason that only a few nations in the world even try.

Keeping economics in mind, 99% of nations in the world would never in their wildest hopes be able to build an Abrams tank, even if they had the plans sitting on their president’s desk.

Nevermind this guy:

Or these puppies:

And don’t even get me started on these:

In fact, there is only one nation in the world that has the education base, technical proficiency, scientific support, economic capital, logistical networking, and manufacturing infrastructure to build all of the examples above…

The one that has them.

While there are some Top Secret classified technologies in the world, most of them could be copied in a lab almost anywhere in the world. Even a small nation could invest a great deal into solving most problems of producing one revolutionary new technology… on paper. Larger nations would have little problem figuring out how anything anyone else is doing could be done. But simply discovering it in a lab doesn’t mean much. Can you use it?

In that way, Generals don’t adapt to new technologies. They know everything that is available, to anyone. With that, they are inspired with a wishlist of everything they would need for a strategy they have in mind for the particular goals of their particular country. They must understand their nation, it’s people, it’s culture, the resources, and if its nation can fulfill that wishlist. Invariably, it won’t be able to, so a new strategy must be made with a new wishlist. At some point, someone will say that we simply can’t do more, and nations must scale back somewhere.

This isn’t a failure to adapt. It’s a failure of the nation’s economy to be capable of fulfilling the wishes of its planners.

Simply put, Russia could produce a design for a wondrous Aircraft Carrier, but they don’t have the nation to make it anything more than a model in a box.
Russia’s New Supercarrier Is A Total Pipe Dream

Is this a failure to adapt?

No, it’s just the geopolitical realities facing nations. They all know what they want and they know what it takes to get it, and more importantly if what they want is possible. When all that information is compiled they have nice reports from well-educated analysts that say something to the effect of:

“We will not win with war. Play nice for a few decades until we figure out a cheaper solution.”

So the short answer: When a country can’t adapt its production capabilities to the needs of its military, it must reinvest into new infrastructure, maybe even changing its culture to produce new technologies in a quantity that is reasonable for its goals. While that is happening, it must be diplomatic. If it can’t do either of these sufficiently, it must change its goals, or else it won’t be around for very much longer.


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Should Hate Speech be Outlawed?

I have a saying: “words mean things.”

I say this because words have stopped meaning what rational people think they mean, so when one person calls for something reasonable, such as “ban hate speech,” they are really saying things the common public would find radically different.

Let’s look at a few words you probably think you know.

Something simple first — “harm”.

If someone harms you, a rational understanding of that might be the infliction of damage with lasting effects to the appearance or function of a thing, such bruising or wounds suffered from an assault, or damage was done to a vehicle after a car crash, maybe even the infliction of severe mental trauma discernable by reliable diagnostician. But what if “harm” only meant whatever a really convincing trial attorney could convince 12 strangers it meant, and punitive damages reaching the millions began to redefine what “harm” meant in a legal context, even if we still thought you needed something to show for it. Whether we agree or not, because the legal sense of the word evolved out from under us, we could still be liable for “harm” that no rational person would have seen coming.

This got worse following the Iraq War when movies and literature about returning veterans popularized PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). While these movies and literature were disastrous for how the public saw veterans as ticking time bombs, the general public now had this lovely new idea of “trauma” to conflate the idea of “harm”. Now, a disease which legitimately affects many people was being co-opted by many, many more to validate that they were or could be “harmed” with mental “trauma” in the same way doctors see an outbreak of self-diagnosed diseases… right after a medical drama featuring that disease airs on TV. Based on that argument, schools hard to start instituting warnings in their classes to ensure no one would be traumatized by their lectures. These were called “trigger warnings”. Note the direct link with PTSD, where legitimate victims of the disease will often be “triggered” by stimuli similar to what happened around the time of their traumatization. An example would be a dog barking before a bomb went off or a particular song before a car wreck. These sometimes involve a manic episode and can make mundane events very frightening. They are completely random and usually have nothing to do with the thing which caused you harm (real harm) but are just your brain’s defense system in overdrive trying to protect you from what it thinks will bring danger. Knowing that, how pissed off are you when some 19-year-old college kid raises their hand to say, “Professor, I feel I will be traumatized by this subject, so you shouldn’t teach it.

But this is the Federalist Papers. You’re in American History. You need to know this.

You see? Right there, something really neat just happened. What you or I might regard as a rational defense to a stupid complaint… others would call violence.

I’m not kidding.

Many of us view violence as some form of directed harm toward a person. But what happens when “harm” no longer means what we thought it meant? When words don’t mean things, harm can simply mean words and ideas that you subjectively perceived as being potentially traumatizing… based on your definition of trauma. And someone who doesn’t follow through with your demands for protection from “harm”, someone who continues to say things you don’t like… well, they just directed harm towards you… “violence.”

Of course, this necessitated a call for “safety.” People who were offended by certain ideas are marginalized by places where those ideas are shared and are, therefore “unsafe,” necessitating a need for “safe spaces”. I’m just going to share with you what I think a safe space is.

When I was in Iraq, we had these little concrete bunkers all over the base where we would run to during mortar attacks. Our command was really nice and gave our safe spaces benches. I was the Rock, Paper, Scissors champion until the “All Clear” sounded. I really liked my safe space.

Growing up in Oklahoma, we also had neat safe spaces. Everywhere you go, here are cellars in backyards. You go there when things called tornados come around. My grandpa called them “frady holes,” and that’s cool because tornadoes are really scary. You feel really safe in a frady hole, though.

Those are freaking safe spaces.

But when colleges start demanding safe spaces for things that absolutely no one in the history of words was in danger of… then the word “safety” just doesn’t mean what it used to, either.

For context, this…

… wasn’t because some hateful misogynistic man came onto campus to demand all the women be kicked out and sent back to the kitchen. This safe space was created in response to this woman…

Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers, a feminist activist who has been campaigning for women for about twice as long as many of these kids have been alive. Why was she called “anti-feminist?” Because her research advocates that most of the inequities in the West are due mostly women’s choices, their freedoms, and that women in the West have won their most important battles for equality. She further argues that feminism today should be focused on places in the world where women have no rights, and face the potential of punitive gang rape, genital mutilation, or where they don’t have a right to participate in the democratic process.

People need “safety” from that?

Of course, some people don’t call for safe spaces in response to perceived violence. This one actually scares me, because when words became violence, some people decided that meant that they could fight violence with violence as a form of self-protection. Of course, when they have expanded the definition of violence to mean “words”, but kept the definition of violence that means “actual violence” they found themselves justified to literally beat peaceful protesters with signs saying “no hate” and no one thought this may signify an inconsistency in their logic. This is Antifa, the group which considers itself freedom fighters against “fascism”, yet another word which has completely lost meaning. This, however, is also why Antifa is now considered a terrorist group. Thank goodness that word still has meaning.

And finally, if you really want to know how terrifying this usurping of language is actually getting, look to Canada’s case of Lindsay Shepard from two months ago.

Lindsay is a teaching assistant at Wilfrid Laurier University, and was called in for a punitive meeting with her professor and the “Diversity and Equity Office”. There, she was accused of violating two laws, both provincial and federal by sharing a video by Professor Jordan Peterson, taken from a debate on Canada’s public access channel. They also declared he was a “key leader of the Alt-Right”, which is false and that sharing his video neutrally as she had done, instead of stating beforehand that she disagreed with him and what a horrible man he was and what the students should think, it was, “Like presenting a speech by Hitler neutrally.” She was told there were reports against her for forcing her “transphobic views” on students who claimed she created a hostile environment, jeopardizing the safety of students on campus.

The irony was that the video was over forced speech, and you can get the details on this affair here.

What later came out after this story blew up in an extremely public backlash against her treatment and the outright violation of free speech it was, an independent investigation turned up that there had been no student complaint in the first place. It was simply an inquisition and abuse of power by the school’s Diversity and Equity Office and it’s biased professors. It was such an embarrassment to the university that the University President was forced to publically exonerate Shepard, castigate the professor and staff, and completely rehaul the school’s rampant and abusive “Diversity and Equity Office.”

Having said all of this and returning to the topic that began this conversation, do you want to know what laws Ms. Shepard was accused of violating?

Laws against Hate Speech.

Other people are writing very good responses for slippery slope arguments about what could happen. I’m not. I’m saying we are already there. Hate Speech codes, laws, and attempts to prevent “violence” are already being used abusively by people to silence and marginalize dissenting views. This is because words no longer mean what we think they mean, to the point that two people can be speaking the exact same words, but mean radically different things. Literally, we are saying similar words, and we believe we understand each other, but we are cognitively speaking two different languages. In the worst cases, manipulators of justice play off the naivety of good people to push legislation that no rational person would tolerate in a society.

Final thoughts:

When someone says, “We must outlaw Hate Speech,” the vast majority of us agree, because we’re good people. But, when what actually happens is…

  • A 20-year-old grad student gets bullied…
  • By her own supervising professor and her school’s Ministry of Truth…
  • for neutrally sharing a video in a college class from your country’s own public broadcasting channel…
  • Of a speaker they have decided without evidence is part of hate group…
  • For not conforming to their deranged ideology…

then nobody really fought hate speech — they made Hate Speech into law.


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Why is Milo Controversial?

He is controversial because that is his career. He considers himself a provocateur, even outright saying that very explicitly. Milo’s views are that of a right-wing populist. They don’t fit well with conservative theory but align well with the Right in regard to many of the arguments happening today. In politics, he does this by coming to any debate very equipped with a very in-depth knowledge of the subjects he’s studying and the positions he wants to defend, or rather, the position he wants to decimate. More often than not, that is the intent of any talk or lecture he has, to utterly humiliate the opposition. He does this with a mix of good research and caustic one-liners. He’s vulgar, crass, and unapologetic, but deniably intellectual and well prepared and if you share any of his views… entertaining.

For that, he’s earned a large following.

That said, he’s been a very verbile critic of intersectional feminism, the Black Lives Matter movement, and Islam, among a host of other left-wing positions. For that, he is utterly despised by many left-wing advocates, and given the outrage he creates, as well as an ability to convincingly win arguments, many have tried to silence such sentiment in the past. Ergo, he became a de facto champion of Free Speech. He’s probably a good face for whatever “New Social Libertarians” might look like. He’s also been accused of being Alt-Right, who he has repeatedly disavowed, but given how nowadays everyone to the political Right of Bernie Sanders is an Alt-Right white supremacist, the accusations fall flat. That said, early in his rise, he did court many who would later fall in with the Alt-Right and during the time when the Alt-Right had grown far beyond their core group of actual white supremacists, he was at least warm to those who did not hold the more hateful intolerant views. That said, since events such as Charlottesville, he has restated his early disavowal of the Alt-Right.

His identity is also an element of his story. As a flamboyantly gay man, he stuck out as odd a speaker for the Right. Still, his style of unapologetically and mercilessly going after Left Wing agendas bought him a favorable following of even the most traditional conservatives. Moreso, he showed that many stereotypes about the Right’s foaming hatred of gays, in their absolute most “fabulous” of manifestations to be wildly untrue.

He also has attracted disrepute with the establishment Right, as much of his rhetoric is also directed toward Republicans who he views as having failed the needs of their electorate in fighting back against a tied of Leftist progressivism. That said, he’s controversial and has bought himself more than a few enemies on all sides.

This probably leads well into the big controversy of the last year, where he was forced to resign as an editor of Breitbart and lost his lucrative book deal for his book “Dangerous”. If I’m being honest, that appeared to be an astroturfed smear campaign, as the fact that it was a year ago seem to have revealed that what he did doesn’t add up to the damage that he endured.

The controversy came from a Joe Rogan interview he did where he talked about a party he attended years before. It was a Yacht party where several Hollywood celebrities were present. Milo described the event and that there were several of the celebs accompanied by young boys, pointing to the open secret of massive pedophilia happening in Hollywood. This can be seen in the recent events surrounding Kevin Spacey.

Why I say it was an astroturfed event is that a year later the recording was unearthed and then the accusation came out where Milo was accused of “protecting the pedophiles”, because he wouldn’t name who he saw. After that, his career with Breitbart was over, who had been more or less funding his talks and making it possible for him have his status.

I say I have problems with that not because I am a diehard fan of his work. I do like some of his talks, but I am much more a fan of people like Ben Shapiro. What I have problems with is that people knew this story about Milo for more than a year before it “broke”. It happened on the very popular Joe Rogan show, who is a popular YouTube personality and podcast. Many, many people saw that show. Secondly, the narrative surrounding the incident is odd. He was supposed to turn these people in, but they are very powerful Hollywood celebs and he has absolutely no proof other than his word. This was also before #MeToo, which brought to light just as powerful many celebs and power players in Hollywood are, so to expect Milo to be capable of doing anything about it, sorry, he couldn’t. Lastly, the narrative exploded out of nowhere. Anytime you see many, many diverse outlets suddenly put out an almost identical piece all pointing one source and the narrative that source tells usually means some form of collusion with an implied agenda. That is what is known as astroturfing a story. Here, the agenda was to bury him.

The group that began the campaign is also suspicious in this, but I won’t speak on that as I don’t know it to be true, but I’ll let you look it up yourselves.

That said, he’s now linked to pedophilia through the strangest of avenues and as far as I can tell, his career has been severely set back. We’ll see if anything sticks and if we’ll hear from again.

Rey is a Mary Sue

By the end of the second movie in this new trilogy, we should all be forced to accept that, “Yes, Rey No-last-name-given is a Mary Sue.”

Mary Sue is an idealized and seemingly perfect fictional character. Often, this character is recognized as an author insert or wish fulfillment. They can usually perform better at tasks than should be possible given the amount of training or experience.

What seems startlingly clear isn’t the abject truth of this statement, that she is a character that has no means to her great power which are made clear to the reader, that she is capable of things she should absolutely not be able to do according to the canon, and that she is unnaturally loved by all, but that acknowledging that she was written as a rather flat trope is sexist.

Sorry, but we have Gary Stus too.

Here’s another.

And another.

You can call each of these characters out for being perfect and always winning when they shouldn’t have a chance. They can also be beloved by their fans. But there is also a reason that people who love them most are young people who haven’t grown to expect characters with more depth and vulnerability. There is a reason that the only people still watching Dragon Ball in their 30’s are people who loved him when they were 13.

The same is true of Star Wars. People have grown up, but the writing is treating Rey like the audience is nothing but 12 year old kids who don’t expect more. They think we will cheer for her because she’s perfect and always beats the bad guy, rather than expect more than what we’re getting. It isn’t sexist to say that a character was written who has no weakness, no vulnerability, unstoppable strength, no need for training, better at everything than everyone (such as both repairing and flying the Millennium Falcon), is way prettier than she should be after years of life in the Jakku sun, and who is remarkably likable in spite of growing up with no social skills, is a rather annoying trope of a character. Look, I get it, people want the strong heroine, but the rules of writing are clear, if you don’t give people a believable story, then you stretch the suspension of reality too far, it snaps and people call it for what it is. It’s a Mary Sue.

And yes, the movie Superman had elements of this too, but at least he had weaknesses. He was actually killed for goodness sake, and there was at least some reasonable basis for his powers — because aliens and the Sun. But if you want cosmic level Gary Stu, look to the comics. It’s a thing.

Rey is the quintessential Mary Sue of the Star Wars universe. Anakin had a backstory that explained why he was so strong, even if people hated the midi-chlorian business. He still had to spend years in training to be competent as a Jedi and he still screwed up everything he touched. Luke? We have seen where he was such a competent pilot (womp rats, anyone?) and he was forced to endure a whole movie of seeking out training. What happens in that one? He bails before he is ready and gets his butt kicked. It is only years later that he is competent enough to be good with the lightsaber… in the third movie.

That Rey could manipulate the force in all its ways before she had even met a Jedi, so much so that she literally beat a master of the force the first time she held a lightsaber? And with no consequences, even. No ugly scar. No amputations. Her hair doesn’t even get messed up.

Come on people. It doesn’t make you a bad person to call out bad writing. You’re not sexist if you expect female characters to be believable. In the Star Wars universe, that means that even force sensitive people don’t know how to swing the lightsaber. It means that force sensitive people still have to be trained to fly the Millennium Falcon. It means that force sensitive people still have to be trained to do all the forcey things, and it means that you will suffer some debilitating injury to learn from your stupidity at some point. This actually happened to Kylo Ren, and dammit all if he wasn’t more likable for the experience. But why is that we can’t expect the same dramatic elements for our female characters without being called sexist?

I don’t get why people are having such a hard time with this. Deadpool did it perfectly when they called the moment of confusion we are feeling surrounding female characters in fiction, where we are trying to make them special, but still want to treat them with kid gloves that says they can do no wrong.

Simply, it isn’t sexist to say that a character is flat, even if the overall experience of seeing the movie was enjoyable. I liked the movie. I even like Daisy Ridley. I think she is playing the character written for her well. But there was a lot of annoyingness in it. It was really predictable. Huge parts of it were fluff. And there was that whole scene that made absolutely no sense with Leia in space. You know what I’m talking about. That got dangerously close to Mary Sue too. And frankly, Rey is a Mary Sue. Straight up, pure unadulterated Mary Sue. She is too perfect and there is no reason why, after two movies, they couldn’t have at least tried to explain this. It’s annoying and it diminishes the quality of the story… because people are simply too distracted the whole time while watching this giant elephant in the room that Rey somehow knows how to levitate.

I’m just saying, along with many others, that the storytelling is declining in these films because people are trying to make Star Wars into some sort of social narrative rather than a great Space opera fantasy. People need to learn to accept the criticism, because they aren’t being directed at women, but at bad writing… or maybe even a culture that simply can’t accept more believable female characters as leading protagonists. Shutting down the argument as simply sexist isn’t going to do the character justice in the long run, nor will it bode well for narrative fiction as a genre.

Look, if people want the Mary Sue arguments surrounding female characters to go away, stop making them so damn perfect.

Let one of them get their arm lopped off every once in a while.

Let one of them get that nasty facial scar.

Force them to go through real training where we see how much they suck at everything.

And most importantly, let them fail.

I promise you, the fans will love her. And if they don’t, at least then we can have a decent argument about sexism.


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